Our next stop for a couple of nights was to be Ubud. On the way, we stopped at Pura Taman Ayan Temple in the village of Mengwi which is about 17km northwest of Denpasar. This temple complex was built around 1634 by the then ruler of the Mengwi Kingdom, Tjokerda Sakti Blambangan. It was significantly restored in 1937.
As well as some wonderful traditional architecture, we were to find expansive garden landscapes that included lotus and fish ponds… plenty of photograph opportunities.
A small covered pavilion near the entrance.
A guardian, suitably decorated, at one of the temple entrances.
One of the decorative ponds that surround the temples.
The locals leave daily offerings at strategic places dotted around the complex.
Various traditional building styles are seen within the complex. The terracotta coloured bricks contrast well with the grey stone carvings.
Detail of a demon guarding the corner of a building.
The public are not permitted to enter this sacred area. However, a high vantage point overlooks the complex giving a good idea of its extent.
Another demon god, this time “protecting” a shop selling tourist trinkets.
Another gate and ornate bridge over a surrounding canal.
Towering tiers of thatched temple shrines make up most of the profile of Taman Ayun. This area was closed to the public but there were good views from outside the walls.
This shiny mahogany-coloured beetle was attempting to get a little closer but…
…there were steps and walls impeding its progress.
Another view down the central axis of the complex.
Yet another view…
Detail of the intricate stone carving…
…and some more newly restored carving.
Another guardian. Interesting but the symbolism of the detailed carving is lost me!
The gardens are not only protected by traditional guardian stone sculptures… I think you’ll agree that the spiny stems of this palm in the gardens are not very welcoming.
The garden surrounding the whole complex were very well maintained. This clump of tall bamboo still retained the sheaths that protected the new emerging shoots.
A bright yellow Heliconia stood out against its green leaves.
Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), is a tropical tree that originates in the Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines. The green flowers slowly mature to a deep yellow with a red throat.
Cananga odorata is valued for the essential oil that is extracted from its flowers to be used in perfumes and in aromatherapy. This oil is credited with relieving high blood pressure, easing skin problems and is also considered to be an aphrodisiac. It’s often blended with other floral, fruit and wood scents to produce perfumes such as Chanel No. 5.
Here, in Indonesia, the flowers are traditionally spread on the bed of a newlywed couple. In the Philippines, its flowers are strung into necklaces worn by women. These strings of flowers are also used to adorn religious images.
The plant produces clusters of black fruit which are an important food item for birds, thus serving as an effective seed disperser.
This temple complex had proved to be an interesting visit on our way to our destination for the night at a resort in Ubud, Bali. More of that anon.
All photographs copyright © JT and DY of jtdytravels
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